Learn to Manage Your Cravings

Licensed Certified Coach

We all have this old habit, you know the one that you can not kick despite the fact that it is not good for you! You know what I am talking about, it could be this chocolate eating habit, or this smoking habit, or anything else…

You know it is not good for you, you know you should stop, but somehow, you keep on doing it! I know I do, we all do!

Tony Robbins has this “weird” technique that he uses to help people attending his seminar make the decision to stop with the old and choose a new and hopefully healthier habit on the spot.

He starts by saying that

Change is never a matter of ability, it’s a matter of motivation and drive.

Easy enough to say, but not so easily done! Isn’t it! Well, the idea is that you have to change the decision from “I should stop eating chocolate” to “I MUST stop eating chocolate” That the motivation and drive! However, that shift is not easily achieved.

We know it is a matter of the mind versus the body and we feel that we are kind of weak, if we fail to resist the urge to take that bite of chocolate or that next cigarette. But it has nothing to do with being weak or whatever, it is often because the end goal is not appealing enough… If you are not motivated enough by the end results, you will not be as motivated to implement the changes, And you are likely to fail.

So in order to succeed, you need to get very motivated and change your behaviour towards that change, from a should, to a MUST, like if your life depended on it.

It is not rare to have smoker quit “Cold-Turkey” after the doctor told them about a dark spot on a lung’s x-ray.

The end goal became clearer and suddenly the motivation and the drive were there.

But how do you achieve that level of motivation and drive on your own?

Robbins on a very regular basis, gets people to change their habits in the blink of an eye.

If you ever attended one of his seminar, there is an element of magic to it. You dance, you scream, you jump, you repeat mantras and he gets you convinced that you can do, what you thougth was impossible. From there, it’s easy to make those changes.

How does he do it?

Well, it would be too long to explain in details in this post, but in short, there is 3 essential steps to Tony’s technique.

  1. Be honest about the reason you keep on _______ (fill in the blank). When I say be honest is be honest with yourself, ask yourself what need is fulfilled, when you keep on doing this or that…. (See post about 6 human needs for explanation) This is a tough part, because you have to face yourself and be honest.
  2. Then you have to look at those reasons, (which are rarely good or positive ones) and decide if they have any solid basis for holding you from your goal. Then, Robbins leads you through a series of exercises to decide for yourself to drop the lie and  drop the habit, because it is not good for you and you MUST stop that, you don’t have a choice.
  3. Finally, Robbins leads you to choose a healthier choice that will fill that original need but in a positive way that leads you to decide to replace the old habit with the new one.

I can see how it may sound strange. Like a habit can be switched in so little time and with so little pain… Impossible! Right!?

It really can be!

And you and I can do it!

I help people achieve that goal on a regular basis. I don’t have an audience of 10 000 + people to sheer us on, but we go on a similar path, adapted to the setting of an individual session be it in person or over the internet.

  1. We will address first the craving itself or the physical aspect to the craving. I usually have clients bring their  problem item with them. And while holding the packet, I ask them to imagine and describe to me, what the taste of the treat is. (They are not to taste it, though! Just imagine it!) The texture, the smell, the noise, the color,… Every kinesthetic aspects. The more details, the better. It is not rare for the client to crave the item so much, that they start to salivate. And once we reach that point, we start with a few rounds of tapping using their specific words to describe the sensations the craving provoked. Strangely enough, very quickly, the craving that was so high, just moments before disappears. It is always a surprise, even to me! There is always a moment, where that piece of chocolate does not seem so appealing anymore. Or that cigarette or whatever, we are dealing with. It even becomes unappealing. Then I get the person to take a bite of the chocolate bar, and sure enough, it does not fulfill the desired effect. The taste is off and it can even become disgusting to the client.  – It would be tempting to stop at that point but it would not be wise.
  2. Then, we explore the needs that are being met by that habit or that situation in the first place. Remember, whatever we do, we do it because we are trying to meet one of 6 human needs. (see post on 6 human needs here). It is not rare that unconsciously, we feel alone or stressed or abandoned or uncertain, and we reach for that chocolate bar, for that cigarette, because it will relax us, help us reconnect with ourselves and so on…. Once we have those reasons, (the emotional aspect of the craving), we tap on those one at a time, in order to eliminate these aspects of the craving. But also to eliminate the back talk that would have happened when we indulged in the past. It is often even more powerful than the craving itself. Being in a caring and loving environment, makes the process less intense. This process allows us to identify what we are doing and makes us aware of what we are trying to fix within us in a negative way.
  3. Finally, we will “install” a few positive alternatives to the old habits. We will look for answer to the question: “How can I feel connected or relaxed or … in a positive way?” So that one can replace the space of the old habit with a few positive things that may not have been appealing to you in the first place, but will fill the same need in a positive way. As an example, a smoker may need a smoke, when he or she is faced with a tense situation. And let’s face it, in our life, there is plenty of opportunities to feel that way, hence, a lot of opportunities to grab that pack of cigarettes. In a tense situation, the person may feel empty inside, and the cigarette allows the person to “fill oneself up” with a deep inhale. Now, the inhale allows for a deep breathing that will release the tension, and could be a positive. But the person has associated the cigarette with that deep inhalation, and therefore relaxation. You know that if you breathe in and out deeply, you relax, it has to be slow and it may take a few cycles, but a deep breathing exercise ALWAYS has a relaxing effect…. So a cigarette forces you to breathe in slowly and deeply and to breath out all the air out, relaxing you in the process, while also, poisoning you. But you are conditioned that way. I could give the same example with eating a piece of chocolate. But if you don’t get that cigarette to relax, and you don’t learn and accept a different way to relax, you will be at a loss and that won’t be positive. Unfortunately, often, techniques to break an addiction, focus on stopping the bad habits but does not give guidance as to what to replace the void with. I am sure you have heard of the smoker, who quit smoking to become addicted to chocolate or to something else.  So we look at positive way to address the needs that the cigarette was filling. It might be doing exercises, it might be taking a walk, it might be petting an animal or crunching one of those exercise balls, it might be many things… The possibilities are endless and that is a good thing.

With those steps, the clients is left having address the craving itself, both at a physical and emotional level and with a new awareness to the need that is most important to him and how he or she need to address it in order to feel better.

These few steps are a sure way to lead someone off the craving path and to healthier way of eating.

Will the client struggle with craving after the cycle is completed? Not very likely, but if it should occur, then, the client is equipped with EFT/tapping as a self-help tool to stop the craving when it occurs. Clients tell me that it is very rare or it is because the situation had taken them by surprise. And they all comment on the ease of the change. As it should be!

It might not be done in the course of a one-hour session, usually, it will take a 3 to 4 sessions to address all those angles, but in the end, the person will not suffer from “withdrawal symptoms” and the recurrence rate is fairly small.

If you have a craving, and you need help getting a handle on that, Give us a call, and I will be glad to assist you!

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